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Publication numberUS6522483 B2
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/841,166
Publication dateFeb 18, 2003
Filing dateApr 25, 2001
Priority dateApr 25, 2000
Fee statusPaid
Also published asEP1277088A1, US6836380, US7031077, US20020027718, US20030223126, US20050094289, WO2001082000A1
Publication number09841166, 841166, US 6522483 B2, US 6522483B2, US-B2-6522483, US6522483 B2, US6522483B2
InventorsJustin L. Kreuzer
Original AssigneeSilicon Valley Group, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Optical reduction system with elimination of reticle diffraction induced bias
US 6522483 B2
Abstract
An optical reduction system for use in the photolithographic manufacture of semiconductor devices having one or more quarter-wave plates operating near the long conjugate end. A quarter-wave plate after the reticle provides linearly polarized light at or near the beamsplitter. A quarter-wave plate before the reticle provides circularly polarized or generally unpolarized light at or near the reticle. Additional quarter-wave plates are used to further reduce transmission loss and asymmetries from feature orientation. The optical reduction system provides a relatively high numerical aperture of 0.7 capable of patterning features smaller than 0.25 microns over a 26 mm×5 mm field. The optical reduction system is thereby well adapted to a step and scan microlithographic exposure tool as used in semiconductor manufacturing. Several other embodiments combine elements of different refracting power to widen the spectral bandwidth which can be achieved.
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Claims(30)
What is claimed is:
1. An optical reduction system having an object space numerical aperture comprising:
first phase shifting means for providing a quarter wavelength phase difference;
an object means for providing a projected image, wherein the phase difference of said first phase shifting means provides circularly polarized light incident on said object means, and the image projected from said object means provides image details using same circularly polarized light; and
second phase shifting means for providing a quarter wavelength phase difference.
2. The optical reduction system of claim 1, further comprising:
first lens means for providing a negative power having an emerging numerical aperture, the emerging numerical aperture being larger than the object space numerical aperture;
a beamsplitter;
a concave mirror; and
second lens means for providing a positive power, wherein the phase difference of said phase shifting means provides linearly polarized light, the negative power of said first lens means provides enough power to image an entrance pupil of the system at infinity to an aperture stop at or near said mirror, and the positive power of said second lens means provides substantially all of the power of the system and images the exit pupil of the system to infinity.
3. An optical reduction system from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
a first quarter-wave plate;
an object plane;
a second quarter-wave plate, said object plane being in between said first and second quarter-waveplates;
a first lens group of positive power, said first lens group having an entering numerical aperture;
a second lens group of negative power, said second lens group separated from said first lens group and having an emerging numerical aperture greater than the entering numerical aperture of said first lens group;
a beamsplitter;
a third quarter-wave plate;
a concave mirror;
a third lens group of positive power; and
wherein the positive power of said first lens group provides enough power to image an entrance pupil of the system at infinity through said second lens group to an aperture stop at or near said mirror, the negative power of said second lens group provides the necessary conjugates for said concave mirror, and the positive power of said third lens group provides the remainder of the total system power and images the exit pupil of the system to infinity.
4. An optical reduction system from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
a first quarter-wave plate;
an object plane;
a second quarter-wave plate;
a first lens group of positive power, said first lens group having an entering numerical aperture;
a second lens group of negative power, said second lens group separated from said first lens group and having an emerging numerical aperture greater than the entering numerical aperture of said first lens group;
a beamsplitter;
a concave mirror;
a third lens group of positive power; and
wherein the positive power of said first lens group provides enough power to image an entrance pupil of the system at infinity through said second lens group to an aperture stop at or near said mirror, the negative power of said second lens group provides the necessary conjugates for said concave mirror, and the positive power of said third lens group provides the remainder of the total system power and images the exit pupil of the system to infinity; wherein said second quarter-wave plate can be anywhere before said beamsplitter.
5. The optical reduction system as in claim 4, further comprising:
a third quarter-wave plate placed between said beamsplitter and said concave mirror.
6. The optical reduction system as in claim 5, further comprising:
a fourth quarter-wave plate placed between said beamsplitter and said third lens group.
7. An optical reduction system from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
a first quarter-wave plate provided before an object plane;
a first lens group of positive power;
a second lens group of negative power;
a beamsplitter;
a second quarter-wave plate;
a concave mirror;
a third lens group of positive power;
said first lens group including,
at least one lens of positive power;
a first lens of substantially zero power; and
a first doublet, whereby said first lens of substantially zero power and said first doublet help correct aberrations such as astigmatism, field curvature, and distortion,
said second lens group including,
at least one lens of negative power;
a positive lens; and
a second doublet, whereby said at least one lens of negative power provides a diverging beam for said beamsplitter and said mirror, said positive lens provides lateral color correction, and said second doublet helps to correct for spherical aberration and coma, and
wherein the positive power of said first lens group provides enough power to image the entrance pupil of the system at infinity through said second lens group to an aperture stop at or near said mirror, the negative power of said second lens group provides the necessary conjugates for said concave mirror, and the positive power of said third lens group provides the remainder of the total system power and images the exit pupil of the system to infinity.
8. An optical reduction system from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
first quarter-wave plate;
a first lens group of positive power;
a second lens group of negative power;
a beamsplitter;
a second quarter-wave plate;
a concave mirror;
a third lens group of positive power;
said first lens group including,
at least one lens of positive power;
a first lens of substantially zero power; and
a first doublet, whereby said first lens of substantially zero power and said first doublet help correct aberrations such as astigmatism, field curvature, and distortion,
said second lens group including,
at least one lens of negative power;
a positive lens; and
a second doublet, whereby said at least one lens of negative power provides a diverging beam for said beamsplitter and said mirror, said positive lens provides lateral color correction, and said second doublet helps to correct for spherical aberration and coma, and
wherein the positive power of said first lens group provides enough power to image the entrance pupil of the system at infinity through said second lens group to an aperture stop at or near mirror, the negative power of said second lens group provides the necessary conjugates for said concave mirror, and the positive power of said third lens group provides the remainder of the total system power and images the exit pupil of the system to infinity, further comprising:
a third quarter-wave plate is placed between said beamsplitter and said third lens group.
9. The optical reduction system as in claim 8, further comprising:
a fourth quarter-wave plate placed before the optical reduction system;
whereby linearly polarized radiation incident upon the system is circularly polarized.
10. An optical reduction system as in claim 9 having:
a construction according to the following construction data:
TABLE 1 Radius of Curvature Aperture Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm) Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass 508 Infinite Infinite 4.500 123.0000 123.0000 Silica Space 0.7500 110 Infinite 63.3853 Space 0.7500 511 Infinite Infinite 4.500 123.0000 123.0000 Silica Space 0.7500 512 −158.7745 −177.8880 15.0000 124.0478 131.7725 Silica Space 36.1130 514 −556.6911 −202.0072 22.2126 148.3881 152.5669 Silica Space 38.7188 516 −183.7199 −558.8803 15.0000 156.5546 166.5750 Silica Space 10.0674 518 427.2527 −612.2450 28.8010 177.4010 179.0292 Silica Space 132.3320 520 Infinite −74.0000 184.6402 Reflection 522 −240.4810 2050.9592 −33.3135 188.4055 185.3395 Silica Space −29.3434 524 421.7829 −145.6176 −12.0000 175.5823 169.0234 Silica Space −4.2326 526 −150.4759 472.0653 −46.5091 171.4244 169.9587 Silica Space −2.0000 528 −1472.2790 −138.2223 −15.0000 165.3586 154.8084 Silica Space −27.2060 530 Infinite Infinite −91.8186 155.6662 253.0917 Silica 536 Infinite 253.0917 Reflection 530 Infinite Infinite 91.8186 253.0917 253.0917 Silica Space 2.0000 532 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 185.8693 186.8401 Silica Space 17.9918 Stop 188.0655 534 Aspheric −17.9918 188.0655 Reflection 532 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 183.5471 180.1419 Silica Space −2.0000 530 Infinite Infinite −91.8186 178.3346 149.2832 Silica 530 Infinite Infinite −70.000 149.2832 128.8604 Silica Space −2.0000 538 Infinite Infinite −4.500 127.9681 126.6552 Silica Space −0.7500 540 −175.1330 1737.4442 −17.7754 121.4715 118.2689 Silica Space −0.7500 542 −108.8178 −580.1370 −18.2407 104.5228 97.7967 Silica Space −0.7500 544 −202.2637 −86.6025 −31.1216 91.7061 57.4968 Silica Space −2.3507 546 −122.1235 −488.7122 −17.9476 56.4818 41.1675 Silica Space −0.2000 548 −160.8506 −360.1907 −6.1500 39.4528 33.5764 Silica Space −4.000 180 Infinite 26.5019
11. An optical reduction system having a relatively high numerical aperture, from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
an object plane;
a first quarter-wave plate;
a first doublet;
a first positive lens;
a second positive lens;
a shell;
a folding mirror;
a third positive lens;
a first negative lens;
a forth positive lens;
a second negative lens;
a beamsplitter cube;
a second quarter-wave plate;
a concave mirror;
a third quarter-wave plate;
a fifth positive lens;
a second doublet;
a sixth positive lens; and
a third doublet,
arranged such that radiation entering the system passes through said object plane, said first quarter-wave plate, said first doublet, said first positive lens, said second positive lens, said shell, said folding mirror, said third positive lens, said first negative lens, said second negative lens; said beamsplitter cube, said second quarter-wave plate, and is reflected by said concave mirror back through said second quarter-wave plate and said beamsplitter cube, and through said third quarter-wave plate, said fifth positive lens, said second doublet; said sixth positive lens, and said third doublet.
12. The optical reduction system as in claim 11 wherein:
said first quarter-wave plate can be anywhere before said beamsplitter.
13. The optical reduction system as in claim 12, further comprising:
a fourth quarter-wave plate before said object plane.
14. The optical reduction system as in claim 13 having:
a construction according to the following construction data
TABLE 2 Radius of Curvature Element (mm) Thickness Aperture Diameter (mm) Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass 608 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 123.0000 123.0000 Silica Space 0.5000 110 Infinite 60.4852 Space 0.5000 611 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 123.0000 123.0000 Silica 612 −205.5158 539.1791 15.2158 124.0926 137.3346 Silica Space 8.8054 614 2080.9700 −210.6539 32.4984 142.6149 151.7878 Silica Space 1.2676 616 310.4463 700.3748 40.7304 162.4908 165.2126 CaFl Space 0.5000 618 634.1820 −798.8523 27.5892 165.4595 166.4747 Silica Space 0.5000 620 1480.0597 1312.1247 25.4322 168.7516 164.7651 Silica Space 136.2343 622 Infinite −74.0000 161.9590 Reflection 624 −761.9176 1088.9351 −19.2150 160.3165 159.2384 Silica Space −19.9465 626 648.8361 −202.5872 −12.0000 155.1711 153.0635 CaFl Space −7.6304 628 −400.4276 458.5060 −25.8769 153.0635 153.8055 Silica Space −2.0000 630 −818.0922 −168.5034 −27.5927 152.6663 147.5200 CaFl Space −20.5014 632 Infinite Infinite −91.7553 148.6158 252.7349 Silica 638 Infinite 252.7349 Reflection 632 Infinite Infinite 91.7553 252.7349 252.7349 Silica Space 2.0000 634 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 185.8070 187.0026 Silica Space 18.1636 Stop 188.5681 636 Aspheric −18.1636 188.5681 Reflection 634 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 184.2566 181.1084 Silica Space −2.0000 632 Infinite Infinite −91.7553 179.3838 151.7747 Silica 632 Infinite Infinite −70.0000 151.7747 133.3985 Silica Space −2.0000 640 Infinite Infinite −4.5000 132.5690 131.3876 Silica Space −0.5000 642 −112.0665 −597.6805 −21.4866 123.4895 119.2442 Silica Space −0.5000 644 −116.3137 282.3140 −24.0940 107.8451 101.2412 CaFl 646 282.3140 −66.5293 −13.7306 101.2412 72.6862 Silica Space −2.6346 648 −77.2627 −374.4800 −17.9594 72.0749 62.7659 Silica Space −0.5452 650 −130.1381 −57.1295 −20.8147 58.9696 37.4889 Silica 652 −57.1295 −7305.8777 −6.1425 37.4889 34.3156 CaFl Space −4.0000 180 Infinite 26.4992
15. An optical reduction system having a relatively high numerical aperture, from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
an object plane;
a first quarter-wave plate;
a first doublet;
a second doublet;
a first positive lens;
a folding mirror;
a second positive lens;
a first negative lens;
a third positive lens;
a second negative lens;
a beamsplitter cube;
a second quarter-wave plate;
a concave mirror;
a third quarter-wave plate;
a fourth positive lens;
a third doublet;
a fifth positive lens;
a shell; and
a sixth positive lens,
arranged such that radiation entering the system passes through said object plane, said first quarter-wave plate, said first doublet, said second doublet, said first positive lens, said folding mirror, said second positive lens, said first negative lens, said third positive lens, said second negative lens, said beamsplitter cube, said second quarter-wave plate, and is reflected by said concave mirror back through said second quarter-wave plate and said beamsplitter cube, and through said third quarter-wave plate, said fourth positive lens, said third doublet, said fifth positive lens, said shell, and said sixth positive lens.
16. The optical reduction system as in claim 15 wherein:
said first quarter-wave plate can be anywhere before said beamsplitter.
17. An optical reduction system as in claim 16 further comprising:
a fourth quarter-wave plate before said object plane.
18. The optical reduction system as in claim 17 having:
a construction according to the following construction data
TABLE 3 Radius of Curvature Aperture Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm) Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass 708 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 125.0000 125.0000 Silica Space 0.5000 110 Infinite 59.2960 Space 0.5000 711 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 125.0000 125.0000 Silica 712 −620.7809 361.8305 20.2974 125.9406 134.7227 PBM2Y Space 2.6174 714 515.7935 −455.1015 39.8858 135.3384 145.6015 PBM2Y Space 14.7197 716 431.3189 −239.4002 36.9329 155.6269 157.3014 BSL7Y Space 0.5000 718 −259.6013 685.3286 26.3534 156.9363 162.2451 PBM2Y Space 1.4303 720 361.5709 −1853.2955 23.3934 168.7516 165.1801 BAL15Y Space 131.8538 722 Infinite −77.8469 169.9390 Reflection 724 −429.2950 455.4247 −32.3086 173.0235 171.1102 PBL6Y Space −27.6206 726 401.0363 −180.0031 −12.0000 159.3555 154.7155 BSL7Y Space −5.6227 728 −258.4722 1301.3764 −26.1321 154.7155 154.1517 PBM8Y Space −2.0000 730 −1282.8931 −180.2226 −12.0000 153.1461 149.4794 BSL7Y Space −19.7282 732 Infinite Infinite −91.7349 150.4585 252.6772 Silica 738 Infinite 252.6772 Reflection 732 Infinite Infinite 91.7349 252.6772 252.6772 Silica Space 2.0000 734 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 185.6435 186.7758 Silica Space 18.2715 Stop 188.1745 736 Aspheric −18.2715 188.1745 Reflection 734 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 183.6393 180.1377 Silica Space −2.0000 732 Infinite Infinite −91.7349 178.3236 147.9888 Silica 732 Infinite Infinite −70.0000 147.9888 126.9282 Silica Space −2.000 740 Infinite Infinite −4.5000 126.0289 124.6750 Silica Space −0.5000 742 −119.8912 −610.6840 −18.6508 117.5305 113.4233 BSM51Y Space −0.5000 744 −114.1327 384.9135 −21.1139 102.6172 96.4137 BSL7Y 746 384.9135 −70.2077 −13.0576 96.4137 71.1691 PBL26Y Space −2.8552 748 −85.7858 −400.3240 −16.9147 70.5182 61.2633 BSM51Y Space −0.8180 750 −151.5235 −54.0114 −19.5810 57.6234 37.3909 BSM51Y 752 −54.0114 −2011.1057 −6.3947 37.3909 34.2119 PBL6Y Space −4.0000 180 Infinite 26.5002
19. An optical reduction system having a relatively high numerical aperture, from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
an object plane;
a first lens group of positive power;
a second lens group of negative power;
a beamsplitter;
a concave mirror;
a third lens group of positive power;
a first quarter-wave plate placed before said object plane;
a second quarter-wave plate placed between said object plane and said first lens group;
a third quarter-wave plate placed between said beamsplitter and said concave mirror;
a fourth quarter-wave plate placed between said beamsplitter and said third lens group; and
wherein the properties of said first quarter-wave plate circularly polarize the linearly polarized radiation entering the system, and the properties of said second quarter-wave plate linearly polarize the circularly polarized radiation leaving said object plane.
20. The optical reduction system as in claim 19 wherein:
the first quarter-wave plate is zero order quarter-wave plate.
21. The optical reduction system as in claim 19 wherein:
the second quarter-wave plate is a zero order quarter-wave plate.
22. An optical reduction system having a relatively high numerical aperture, from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
a first quarter-wave plate;
an object plane;
a second quarter-wave plate;
a first lens group of positive power;
a second lens group of negative power, said first and second lens group having a net power;
a beamsplitter, the net power of said first and second lens group resulting in a non-collimated beam entering said beamsplitter from said first and second lens group;
a third quarter-wave plate;
a concave mirror,
the net power of said first and second lens group providing only enough power to image the system entrance pupil at infinity to an aperture stop at or near said concave mirror;
a fourth quarter-wave plate; and
a third lens group of positive power;
arranged such that radiation entering said system passes through said first lens group, said second lens group, said beamsplitter, and is reflected by said concave mirror back through said beamsplitter and through said third lens group.
23. The optical reduction system as in claim 22 wherein:
said first quarter-wave plate is oriented with the input light, said second and said fourth quarter-wave plates are placed in parallel orientation with one another, and said third quarter-wave plate is placed perpendicular to said second quarter-wave plate.
24. The optical reduction system as in claim 23 having a construction according to the following data
TABLE 4 Radius of Curvature Aperture Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm) Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass 808 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 122.0000 122.0000 Silica Space 2.0000 110 Infinite 63.3853 Space 2.0000 811 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 122.0000 122.0000 Silica 812 −183.5661 −215.7867CX 17.0000 122.8436 130.6579 Silica Space 46.6205 814 −601.1535CC −230.9702CX 21.4839 149.1476 153.3103 Silica Space 68.8075 816 −195.1255 −345.4510CX 15.0000 161.6789 170.1025 Silica Space 3.0000 818 435.8058CX −1045.1785CX 24.9351 177.4250 178.2672 Silica Space 130.0000 Decenter(1) 820 Infinite −64.5000 180.3457 Reflection 822 210.7910CX 380.1625CX −43.1418 181.6672 178.0170 Silica Space −15.8065 824 300.1724CC −123.4555CC −12.0000 166.7278 152.3101 Silica Space −3.8871 826 −126.8915CX   972.6391CX −41.3263 154.8530 151.8327 Silica Space −1.5000 828 −626.4905CX   −116.6456CC   −12.0000 147.6711 136.1163 Silica Space −31.8384 830 Infinite Infinite −74.0000 137.2448 200.1127 Silica Decenter(2)| 836 Infinite 200.1128 Reflection 830 Infinite Infinite 74.0000 200.1127 200.1127 Silica Space 2.0000 832 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 148.6188 149.0707 Silica Space 14.4638 Stop 149.6392 834 Aspheric −14.4638 149.6392 Reflection 832 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 144.8563 141.2737 Silica Space −2.0000 830 Infinite Infinite −74.000 139.3606 117.3979 Silica Decenter(3) 830 Infinite Infinite −61.000 117.3979 100.5074 Silica Space −2.0000 838 Infinite Infinite −4.5000 99.6617 98.4157 Silica Space −1.2000 840 −157.8776CX 2282.2178CX −13.7501 94.8267 91.8775 Silica Space −1.2000 842 −94.0059CX −46.6659CC −13.4850 82.8663 78.1418 Silica Space −1.2000 844 −147.2485CX   −77.8924CC −22.2075 72.7262 50.6555 Silica Space −3.2091 846 −159.2880CX −519.4850CC −13.8321 49.5648 39.0473 Silica Space −0.2000 848 −129.3683CX −426.7350CC −6.1500 37.3816 32.4880 Silica Space Image Distance = −4.0000 850 Image Infinite
25. The optical reduction system as in claim 23 having a construction according to the following data
TABLE 5 Element Radius of Curvature (mm) Thickness Aperture Diameter (mm) Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass 908 Infinite Infinite −4.4550 120.0000 120.0000 Silica Space 1.1880 910 Infinite 62.7514 Space 1.1880 911 Infinite Infinite −4.4550 120.0000 120.0000 Silica 912 −136.1154CC −152.5295CX 16.8300 120.7552 129.4354 Silica Space 4.5206 914 −270.1396CC −191.8742CX 20.5341 132.9152 139.0377 Silica Space 90.8476 916 −188.9000CC −284.7476CX 17.5000 156.1938 165.6567 Silica Space 2.9700 918 433.8174CX −841.5599CX 25.8293 173.8279 174.8334 Silica Space 149.4549 Decenter(1) 920 Infinite −61.0000 177.2183 Reflection 922 −190 3251CX −8413.4836CC −34.4584 178.5071 174.2260 Silica Space −51.5487 924 690.5706CC −146.4997CC −11.8800 150.4109 141.8021 Silica Space −10.6267 526 −265.9886CX 1773.5314CX −24.1851 142.1851 141.2400 Silica Space −1.5000 928 −244.9899CX −142.8558CC −11.8800 139.3290 133.8967 Silica Space −21.6411 930 Infinite Infinite −71.2800 134.3115 189.7826 Silica Decenter(2) 936 Infinite 189.7826 Reflection 930 Infinite Infinite 71.2800 189.7826 189.7826 Silica Space 1.9800 932 Infinite Infinite 5.9400 142.3429 142.6707 Silica Space 18.5263 Stop 143.5034 934 Aspheric −18.5263 143.5034 Reflection 932 Infinite Infinite −5.9400 134.2788 130.9398 Silica Space −1.9800 930 Infinite Infinite −71.2800 130.1221 111.7247 Silica Decenter(3) 930 Infinite Infinite −60.4000 111.7247 96.1353 Silica Space −1.9800 938 Infinite Infinite −4.4550 95.3562 94.2064 Silica Space −1.1880 940 −127.4561CX −1398.8019CC −13.0104 90.4737 87.7002 Silica Space −1.1880 942 −98.8795CX −424.1302CC −12.2874 80.7016 76.3270 Silica Space −1.1880 944 −132.0104CX −70.9574CC −17.8706 71.0789 53.4306 Silica Space −3.1246 946 −123.1071CX −585.4471CC −19.9496 52.6417 38.2256 Silica Space −0.1980 948 −137.8349CX −2926179CX −6.0885 36.7251 31.8484 Silica Space Image Distance = −4.0000 950 Image Infinite 26.5000 .
26. An optical reduction system having an image space numerical aperture and an object space numerical aperture, from the long conjugate end to the short conjugate end, comprising:
a phase-changing means;
a first lens group of positive power;
a second lens group of negative power, said second lens group having an emerging numerical aperture, the emerging numerical aperture being substantially similar to the object space numerical aperture;
a beamsplitter;
a concave mirror; and
a third lens group of positive power;
arranged such that radiation entering said system passes through said phase-changing means, said first lens group, said second lens group, said beamsplitter, and is reflected by said concave mirror back through said beamsplitter and through said third lens group.
27. The optical reduction system as in claim 26 wherein:
the emerging numerical aperture is slightly larger than the object space numerical aperture.
28. An system for exposing a wafer with an image of reticle features, comprising:
a first quarter-wave plate that receives a linearly-polarized illumination light and outputs circularly polarized illumination light; and
a reticle, said reticle being illuminated by said circularly polarized illumination light output from said first quarter-wave plate, whereby, an image of reticle features can be obtained without a bias in diffraction occurring at said reticle.
29. The optical reduction system of claim 28, further comprising:
a second quarter-wave plate that converts circularly polarized illumination light output from said reticle to linearly polarized light, whereby, said linearly polarized light from said second quarter-wave plate can be output to a beamsplitter in a catadioptric system.
30. A method for reducing bias in diffraction at a reticle, comprising:
illuminating a quarter-wave plate to produce circularly polarized light;
Illuminating the recticle with the circularly polarized light; and
projecting a resultant image of reticle features onto a wafer.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/199,392 filed Apr. 25, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to optical systems used in semiconductor manufacturing.

2. Background Art

Semiconductor devices are typically manufactured using various photolithographic techniques. The circuitry used in a semiconductor chip is projected from a reticle onto a wafer. This projection is often accomplished with the use of optical systems. The design of these optical systems is often complex, and it is difficult to obtain the desired resolution necessary for reproducing the ever-decreasing size of components being placed on a semiconductor chip. Therefore, there has been much effort expended to develop an optical reduction system capable of reproducing very fine component features, less than 0.25 microns. The need to develop an optical system capable of reproducing very fine component features requires the improvement of system performance.

A conventional optical system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,537,260 entitled “Catadioptric Optical Reduction System with High Numerical Aperture” issued Jul. 16, 1996 to Williamson, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. This reference describes an optical reduction system having a numerical aperture of 0.35. Another optical system is described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,960 entitled “Optical Reduction System” issuing Sep. 4, 1990 to Williamson, which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. This reference describes an optical system operating in the range of 248 nanometers and having a numerical aperture of 0.45.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

While these optical systems perform adequately for their intended purpose, there is an ever increasing need to improve system performance. The present inventor has identified that a need exists for eliminating diffraction induced by bias at the reticle. Further, there is a need for an optical system having low reticle diffraction capable of acceptable system performance over a large spectral waveband.

Reticle diffraction induced by results from the way linearly polarized light interacts with the features of the reticle. The feature orientation of the reticle is determined by the semiconductor device being projected. Since there is an increasing need to reduce the size of semiconductor devices and feature orientation is dictated by the application of the semiconductor device, the present inventor focused on treating reticle diffraction.

Linearly polarized light is typically used in certain photolithographic projection optic systems. Diffraction results from the interaction of light and the features on the reticle. Linearly polarized light travels through the reticle differently depending on the orientation of its features. Asymmetries result from this interaction. The asymmetries or print biases are then projected through the optical system onto the wafer. Print bias is significant enough to alter the thickness of the lines projected on the wafer. Variations on the wafer affect the performance of the semiconductor device, and in some cases prevent the device from performing to required specifications.

The use of circularly polarized light at the reticle can eliminate the asymmetries which result from feature orientation. This circularly polarized light is indistinguishable from unpolarized light in its imaging behavior. The imaging behavior of unpolarized light is such that it diffracts equally regardless of the orientation of the feature through which it is projected. Thus the print biases are reduced throughout the optical system.

However, other factors, such as transmission loss, prevent the use of circularly polarized light throughout an optical system. Thus, the present invention involves the use of phase shifters, which can take the form of wave plates, retardation plates and the like, to selectively alter the polarization of the light before the reticle and optical system.

In one embodiment, the present invention is a catadioptric optical reduction system for use in the photolithographic manufacture of semiconductor devices having one or more quarter-wave plates operating near the long conjugate end. A quarter-wave plate after the reticle provides linearly polarized light at or near the beamsplitter. A quarter-wave plate before the reticle provides circularly polarized or generally unpolarized light at or near the reticle. Additional quarter-wave plates are used to further reduce transmission loss and asymmetries from feature orientation. The catadioptric optical reduction system provides a relatively high numerical aperture of 0.7 capable of patterning features smaller than 0.25 microns over a 26 mm×5 mm field. The optical reduction system is thereby well adapted to a step and scan microlithographic exposure tool as used in semiconductor manufacturing. Several other embodiments combine elements of different refracting power to widen the spectral bandwidth which can be achieved.

In another embodiment, the present invention is a catadioptric reduction system having, from the object or long conjugate end to the reduced image or short conjugate end, an first quarter-wave plate, a reticle, a second quarter-wave plate, a first lens group, a second lens group, a beamsplitter cube, a concentric concave mirror, and a third lens group. The first quarter-wave plate operates to circularly polarize the radiation passed to the reticle. The second quarter-wave plate operates to linearly polarize the radiation after the reticle before the first lens group. The concave mirror operates near unit magnification. This reduces the aberrations introduced by the mirror and the diameter of radiation entering the beamsplitter cube. The first and second lens groups before the concave mirror provide enough power to image the entrance pupil at infinity at the aperture stop at or near the concave mirror. The third lens group after the concave mirror provides a substantial portion of the reduction from object to image of the optical system, as well as projecting the aperture stop to an infinite exit pupil. High-order aberrations are reduced by using an aspheric concave mirror.

Further embodiments, features, and advantages of the present invention, as well as the structure and operation of the various embodiments of the present invention, are described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS/FIGURES

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and form a part of the specification, illustrate the present invention and, together with the description, further serve to explain the principles of the invention and to enable a person skilled in the pertinent art to make and use the invention.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a conventional optical projection system.

FIG. 2A is an illustration of diffraction at the reticle.

FIG. 2B is an illustration of the properties of a quarter-wave plate.

FIG. 2C is an illustration of the properties of a half waveplate.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the present invention using more than two quarter-wave plates.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of one embodiment of the present invention using a single refracting material.

FIG. 6 is another embodiment of the present invention using two different refracting materials.

FIG. 7 is another embodiment of the present invention using more than two different refracting materials.

FIG. 8 is another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is yet a further embodiment of the present invention.

The present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate identical or functionally similar elements. Additionally, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the drawing in which the reference number first appears.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

I. Overview

A. Conventional Optical System

B. Reticle Diffraction

C. Polarization and Wave Plates

II. Terminology

III. Example Implementations

A. Optical System With Elimination of Reticle Diffraction Induced Bias

B. Alternate Embodiment

C. Further Embodiments

IV. Alternate Implementation

I. Overview

A. Conventional Optical System

FIG. 1 illustrates a conventional optical reduction system. From its long conjugate end where the reticle is placed to its short conjugate end where the wafer is placed, it possesses a first optical component group 120, a beamsplitter cube 150, a first quarter-wave plate 140, a concave mirror 130, a second quarter-wave plate 160, and a second optical component group 170. A feature of any optical system is the interdependence of numerical aperture size and spectral radiation requirements. In order to efficiently illuminate the image or wafer plane 180, linearly polarized light is used. The limitations of linearly polarized light are introduced above and discussed in the following sections.

B. Reticle Diffraction Induced Bias

As recognized by the present inventor, the use of linearly polarized light at numerical apertures greater than about 0.5 introduces small, but noticeable, asymmetries in the imaging. These asymmetries in imaging are caused at least in part by diffraction of the linearly polarized light at certain feature orientations. FIG. 2A illustrates the asymmetries or print biases which result from the use of linearly polarized light at the reticle 110. Simply, reticle 110 is placed in the path of both linearly polarized light 205 and circularly polarized light 210. The two types of light are separated by separator 215. After the reticle, the intensity of the light is distributed differently, as shown by distribution curves 220 and 225. The results are shown on wafer 180. Here, the projected image 230 resulting from the use of linearly polarized light 205 is not as clear or sharp as projected image 235 which results from the use of circularly polarized light 210.

Circularly polarized light 210 is indistinguishable from unpolarized light in its imaging behavior. The imaging behavior of unpolarized light is such that it diffracts equally regardless of the orientation of the feature through which it is projected. When the projection optic cannot accept unpolarized light, but requires linearly polarized light, it is possible to provide circularly polarized light to illuminate the reticle and thereby eliminate the feature orientation bias. Thus, print biases are reduced.

C. Polarization and Wave Plates

The properties of wave plates are shown in FIGS. 2B and 2C. FIG. 2B illustrates the properties of a quarter-wave plate. Linearly polarized input 240 enters the wave plate 245 at the input polarization plane 255. The optic axis 250 and other factors discussed in detail below determine the orientation of the output light. Here, wave plate 245 is designed to produce circularly polarized output 260.

Similarly, FIG. 2C illustrates the properties of a half-wave plate. Linearly polarized input 265 enters the wave plate 270 at the input polarization plane 280. The optic axis 275 and other factors discussed in detail below determine the orientation of the output light. Here, wave plate 270 is designed to produce linearly polarized with plane of polarization retarded output 285.

Wave plates (retardation plates or phase shifters) are made from materials which exhibit birefringence. Birefringent materials, such as crystals, are generally anisotropic. This means that the atomic binding forces on the electron clouds are different in different directions and as a result so are the refractive indices.

In the case of uniaxial birefringent crystals, a single symmetry axis (actually a direction) known as the optic axis (shown in FIGS. 2B and 2C as elements 250 and 275, respectively) displays two distinct principal indices of refraction: the maximum index no (the slow axis) and the minimum index ne (the fast axis). These two indices correspond to light field oscillations parallel and perpendicular to the optic axis.

The maximum index results in ordinary rays passing through the material. The minimum index results in extraordinary rays passing through the material. The velocities of the extraordinary and ordinary rays through the birefringent materials vary intensely with their refractive indices. The difference in velocities gives rise to a phase difference when the two beams recombine. In the case of an incident linearly polarized beam this is given by: α = 2 π d ( n e - n o ) λ ;

where α is the phase difference; d is the thickness of wave plate; ne, no are the refractive indices of the extraordinary and ordinary rays respectively, and λ is the wavelength. Thus, at any specific wavelength the phase difference is governed by the thickness of the wave plate.

As discussed above, FIG. 2B illustrates the operation of a quarter-wave plate. The thickness of the quarter-wave plate is such that the phase difference is ¼-wavelength (zero order) or some multiple of ¼ wavelength (multiple order).

If the angle between the electric field vector of the incident linearly polarized beam and the retarder principal plane of the quarter-wave plate is 45 degrees, the emergent beam is circularly polarized.

Additionally, when a quarter-wave plate is double passed, e.g., when the light passes through it twice because it is reflected off a mirror, it acts as a half-wave plate.

By quarter-wave plate is meant a thickness of birefringent material which introduces a quarter of a wavelength of the incident light. This is in contrast to an integral number of half plus quarter-waves or two thicknesses of material whose phase retardance differs by a quarter-wave. The deleterious effects of large angle of incidence variations are thereby minimized at the high numerical aperture by the use of such zero order wave plates, and by restricting the field size in the plane of incidence.

Similarly, FIG. 2C illustrates the operation of a half-wave plate. The thickness of a half-wave plate is such that the phase difference is ½-wavelength (zero order) or some odd multiple of ½-wavelength (multiple order). A linearly polarized beam incident on a half-wave plate emerges as a linearly polarized beam but rotated such that its angle to the optical axis is twice that of the incident beam.

II. Terminology

To more clearly delineate the present invention, an effort is made throughout the specification to adhere to the following term definitions as consistently as possible.

The term “circuitry” refers to the features designed for use in a semiconductor device.

The term “feature orientation” refers to the patterns printed on a reticle to projection.

The term “long conjugate end” refers to the plane at the object or reticle end of the optical system.

The term “print bias” refers to the variations in the lines on the wafer produced by asymmetries in the optical system. Asymmetries are produced by diffraction at various stages of the system and the reticle.

The term “semiconductor” refers to a solid state substance that can be electrically altered.

The term “semiconductor chip” refers to semiconductor device possessing any number of transistors or other components.

The term “semiconductor device” refers to electronic equipment possessing semiconductor chips or other elements.

The term “short conjugate end” refers to the plane at the image or wafer end of the optical system.

The term “wave plate” refers to retardation plates or phase shifters made from materials which exhibit birefringence.

III. Example Implementations

A. Optical System With Elimination of Reticle Diffraction Induced Bias

The present invention uses circularly polarized light to eliminate the reticle diffraction induced biases of conventional systems. FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention that eliminates such asymmetries or print biases. A first quarter-wave plate 305 is introduced before the object or reticle plane 110. First quarter-wave plate 305 converts the linearly polarized light into circularly polarized light, as illustrated in FIG. 2B. As discussed above, circularly polarized light is indistinguishable from unpolarized light in its imaging behavior. The imaging behavior of unpolarized light is such that it diffracts equally regardless of the orientation of the feature through which it is projected. Thus the print biases which result from reticle diffraction are reduced.

In order to minimize transmission loss through the rest of the optical system, second quarter-wave plate 315 is inserted to linearly polarize the radiation before the optical component group 320.

With respect to quarter-wave plates 305, 315, 340 and 360, one orientation is to have the first quarter-wave plate 305 oriented with its fast axis parallel to that of the input light. The second quarter-wave plate 315 and fourth quarter-wave plate 360 have their fast axes in a parallel orientation but perpendicular to the fast axis of third quarter-wave plate 340.

B. Alternate Embodiment

It is also apparent to one skilled in the relevant art that second quarter-wave plate 315 could be inserted into the system anywhere before the beamsplitter 350. This aspect is shown in FIG. 4 where second quarter-wave plate 425 serves the same function. The transmission loss caused by the use of circularly polarized light within optical component group 320 influences the placement of second quarter-wave plate 425.

Specifically, the use of unpolarized or circularly polarized light at the beamsplitter would cause a transmission loss of 50%. If a non-polarized beamsplitter were to be used, 75% of the light would be lost. Therefore, while alternate embodiments are possible, they may not be feasibly implemented.

With respect to quarter-wave plates 405, 425, 440 and 460, one orientation is to have the first quarter-wave plate 405 oriented with its fast axis parallel to that of the input light. The second quarter-wave plate 425 and fourth quarter-wave plate 460 have their fast axes in a parallel orientation but perpendicular to the fast axis of third quarter-wave plate 440.

C. Further Embodiments

The present invention can be implemented in various projection optic systems. For example, the present invention can be implemented in catadioptric systems as described in detail herein, as well as refractive and reflective systems. On skilled in the relevant art, based at least on the teachings provided herein, would recognize that the embodiments of the present invention are applicable to other reduction systems. More detailed embodiments of the present invention as provided below.

FIG. 5 illustrates one embodiment of the optical reduction system of the present invention. From its long conjugate end, it comprises a first quarter-wave plate 508, an object or reticle plane 110, a second quarter-wave plate 511, a first lens group LG1, a folding mirror 520, a second lens group LG2, a beamsplitter cube 530, a third quarter-wave plate 532, a concave mirror 534, a second quarter-wave plate 538, and a third lens group LG3. The image is formed at image or wafer plane 180. The first lens group LG1 comprises a shell 512, a spaced doublet including positive lens 514 and negative lens 516, and positive lens 518. The shell 512 is an almost zero power or zero power lens. The second lens group LG2 comprises a positive lens 522, a spaced doublet including a negative lens 524 and a positive lens 526, and negative lens 528. The third lens group LG3 comprises two positive lenses 540 and 542, which are strongly positive, shell 544, and two positive lenses 546 and 548, which are weakly positive. The first quarter-wave plate 508 passes circularly polarized light incident upon the object or reticle plane 110. The folding mirror 520 is not essential to the operation of the present invention. However, the folding mirror permits the object and image planes to be parallel which is convenient for one intended application of the optical system of the present invention, which is the manufacture of semiconductor devices using photolithography with a step and scan system.

Radiation enters the system at the long conjugate end and passes through the first lens group LG1, is reflected by the folding mirror 520, and passes through the second lens group LG2. The radiation enters the beamsplitter cube 530 and is reflected from surface 536 passing through quarter-wave plate 532 and reflected by concave mirror 534. The radiation then passes back through the quarter-wave plate 532, the beamsplitter cube 530, the quarter-wave plate 538, lens group LG3, and is focused at the image or wafer plane 180.

Lens groups upstream of the mirror, LG1 and LG2, provide only enough power to image the entrance pupil at infinity to the aperture stop 531 at or near the concave mirror 534. The combined power of lens groups LG1 and LG2 is slightly negative. The shell 512 and air spaced doublet 514 and 516 assist in aberration corrections including astigmatism, field curvature, and distortion. The lens group LG3, after the concave mirror 534, provides most of the reduction from object to image size, as well as projecting the aperture stop to an infinite exit pupil. The two strongly positive lenses 540 and 542 provide a high numerical aperture at the image and exit pupils and infinity. The shell 544 has almost no power. The two weakly positive lenses 546 and 548 help correct high order aberrations. The concave mirror 534 may provide a reduction ratio of between 1.6 and 2.7 times that of the total system.

The negative lens 524 in the second lens group LG2 provides a strongly diverging beam directed at the beamsplitter cube 530 and concave mirror 534. The strongly positive lens 522 provides lateral color correction. The air space doublet comprising lenses 524 and 526 helps to correct spherical aberrations and coma. Concave mirror 534 is preferably aspheric, therefore helping further reduce high order aberrations.

The transmission losses introduced by the beamsplitter cube 530 are minimized by illuminating the object or reticle with linearly polarized light and including a quarter-wave plate 532 between the beamsplitter cube 530 and the concave mirror 534. Additionally, by increasing the numerical aperture in lens group LG3, after the concave mirror 534 and beamsplitter cube 530, the greatest angular range is not seen in these elements.

However, the use of linearly polarized light at numerical apertures greater than about 0.5 introduces small but noticeable asymmetries in the imaging. In the present invention, this can effectively be removed by introducing another quarter-wave plate 538 after the final passage through the beamsplitter cube 530, thereby converting the linearly polarized light into circularly polarized light. This circularly polarized light is basically indistinguishable from unpolarized light in its imaging behavior.

The optical system illustrated in FIG. 5 is designed to operate at a reduction ratio of 4 to 1. Therefore, the numerical aperture in the image space is reduced from 0.7 by a factor of 4 to 0.175 at the object or reticle plane 110. In other words, the object space numerical aperture is 0.175 and the image space numerical aperture is 0.7. Upon leaving the first lens group LG1 the numerical aperture is reduced to 0.12, a consequence of the positive power needed in lens group LG1 to image the entrance pupil at infinity to the aperture stop of the system close to the concave mirror 534. The numerical aperture after leaving the second lens group LG2 and entering the beamsplitter is 0.19. Therefore, the emerging numerical aperture from the second lens group LG2, which is 0.19, is larger than the entering or object space numerical aperture of lens group LG1, which is 0.175. In other words, the second lens group LG2 has an emerging numerical aperture greater than the entering numerical aperture of the first lens group LG1. This is very similar to the object space numerical aperture, which is 0.175, due to the overall negative power of the second lens group LG2. This is contrary to prior art systems where the numerical aperture entering a beamsplitter cube is typically close to zero or almost collimated. The concave mirror 534 being almost concentric, the numerical aperture of the radiation reflected from it is increased only slightly from 0.19 to 0.35. The third lens group LG3 effectively doubles the numerical aperture to its final value of 0.7 at the wafer or image plane 180.

The present invention achieves its relatively high numerical aperture without obstruction by the edges of the beamsplitter cube by means of the negative second group LG2 and the strongly positive third lens group LG3. The use of the beamsplitter cube 530 rather than a plate beamsplitter is important in the present invention because at numerical apertures greater than about 0.45 a beamsplitter cube will provide better performance. There is a reduction of the numerical aperture within the cube by the refractive index of the glass, as well as the absence of aberrations that would be introduced by a tilted plate beamsplitter in the non-collimated beam entering the beamsplitter. The construction data for the lens system illustrated in FIG. 5 according to the present invention is given in Table 1 below.

TABLE 1
Radius of Curvature Aperture
Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm)
Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass
508 Infinite Infinite 4.500 123.0000 123.0000 Silica
Space 0.7500
110 Infinite 63.3853
Space 0.7500
511 Infinite Infinite 4.500 123.0000 123.0000 Silica
Space 0.7500
512 −158.7745 −177.8880 15.0000 124.0478 131.7725 Silica
Space 36.1130
514 −556.6911 −202.0072 22.2126 148.3881 152.5669 Silica
Space 38.7188
516 −183.7199 −558.8803 15.0000 156.5546 166.5750 Silica
Space 10.0674
518 427.2527 −612.2450 28.8010 177.4010 179.0292 Silica
Space 132.3320
520 Infinite −74.0000 184.6402 Reflection
522 −240.4810 2050.9592 −33.3135 188.4055 185.3395 Silica
Space −29.3434
524 421.7829 −145.6176 −12.0000 175.5823 169.0234 Silica
Space −4.2326
526 −150.4759 472.0653 −46.5091 171.4244 169.9587 Silica
Space −2.0000
528 −1472.2790 −138.2223 −15.0000 165.3586 154.8084 Silica
Space −27.2060
530 Infinite Infinite −91.8186 155.6662 253.0917 Silica
536 Infinite 253.0917 Reflection
530 Infinite Infinite 91.8186 253.0917 253.0917 Silica
Space 2.0000
532 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 185.8693 186.8401 Silica
Space 17.9918
Stop 188.0655
534 Aspheric −17.9918 188.0655 Reflection
532 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 183.5471 180.1419 Silica
Space −2.0000
530 Infinite Infinite −91.8186 178.3346 149.2832 Silica
530 Infinite Infinite −70.000 149.2832 128.8604 Silica
Space −2.0000
538 Infinite Infinite −4.500 127.9681 126.6552 Silica
Space −0.7500
540 −175.1330 1737.4442 −17.7754 121.4715 118.2689 Silica
Space −0.7500
542 −108.8178 −580.1370 −18.2407 104.5228 97.7967 Silica
Space −0.7500
544 −202.2637 −86.6025 −31.1216 91.7061 57.4968 Silica
Space −2.3507
546 −122.1235 −488.7122 −17.9476 56.4818 41.1675 Silica
Space −0.2000
548 −160.8506 −360.1907 −6.1500 39.4528 33.5764 Silica
Space −4.000
180 Infinite 26.5019.

Concave mirror 534 has an aspheric reflective surface according to the following equation: Z = ( CURV ) Y 2 1 + 1 - ( 1 + k ) ( CURV ) 2 Y 2 + ( A ) Y 4 + ( B ) Y 6 + ( D ) Y 10 + ( E ) Y 12 + ( F ) Y 14 ;

wherein the constants are as follows:

CURV=−0.00289051

K=0.000000

A=6.08975×10−11

B=2.64378×1014

C=9.82237×10−19

D=7.98056×10−23

E=−5.96805×10−27

F=4.85179×10−31

The lens according to the construction in Table 1 is optimized for radiation centered on 248.4 nanometers. The single refracting material of fused silica and the large portion of refracting power restricts the spectral bandwidth of the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5 to about 10 picometers or 0.01 nanometers. This spectral bandwidth is more than adequate for a line narrowed krypton fluoride excimer laser light source. The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5 can be optimized for any wavelength for which fused silica transmits adequately.

A wider spectral bandwidth can be achieved by the use of two optical materials with different dispersions. A second embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 6. From its long conjugate end, it comprises a first quarter-wave plate 608, an object or reticle plane 110, a second quarter-wave plate 611, a lens group LG4, a folding mirror 622, a lens group LG5, a beamsplitter cube 632 having surface 638, a third quarter-wave plate 634, a concave mirror 636, a fourth quarter-wave plate 640, and lens group LG6. The image is formed at image or wafer plane 180. The lens group LG4 comprises a spaced doublet including negative lens 612 and positive lens 614, a weak positive lens 616, positive lens 618, and shell 620. The lens group LG5 comprises a positive lens 624, a negative lens 626, a positive lens 628, and a negative lens 630. The lens group LG6 comprises two positive lenses 642, cemented doublet including positive lens 644 and negative lens 646, positive lens 648, and cemented doublet including shell 650 and positive lens 652.

This second embodiment uses calcium fluoride in one of the individual positive lenses of the lens group LG4, negative lenses of the lens group LG5, and two of the positive lenses of the lens group LG6. The construction data of the second embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6 of the present invention is given in Table 2 below.

TABLE 2
Radius of Curvature
Element (mm) Thickness Aperture Diameter (mm)
Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass
608 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 123.0000 123.0000 Silica
Space 0.5000
110 Infinite 60.4852
Space 0.5000
611 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 123.0000 123.0000 Silica
612 −205.5158 539.1791 15.2158 124.0926 137.3346 Silica
Space 8.8054
614 2080.9700 −210.6539 32.4984 142.6149 151.7878 Silica
Space 1.2676
616 310.4463 700.3748 40.7304 162.4908 165.2126 CaFl
Space 0.5000
618 634.1820 −798.8523 27.5892 165.4595 166.4747 Silica
Space 0.5000
620 1480.0597 1312.1247 25.4322 168.7516 164.7651 Silica
Space 136.2343
622 Infinite −74.0000 161.9590 Reflection
624 −761.9176 1088.9351 −19.2150 160.3165 159.2384 Silica
Space −19.9465
626 648.8361 −202.5872 −12.0000 155.1711 153.0635 CaFl
Space −7.6304
628 −400.4276 458.5060 −25.8769 153.0635 153.8055 Silica
Space −2.0000
630 −818.0922 −168.5034 −27.5927 152.6663 147.5200 CaFl
Space −20.5014
632 Infinite Infinite −91.7553 148.6158 252.7349 Silica
638 Infinite 252.7349 Reflection
632 Infinite Infinite 91.7553 252.7349 252.7349 Silica
Space 2.0000
634 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 185.8070 187.0026 Silica
Space 18.1636
Stop 188.5681
636 Aspheric −18.1636 188.5681 Reflection
634 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 184.2566 181.1084 Silica
Space −2.0000
632 Infinite Infinite −91.7553 179.3838 151.7747 Silica
632 Infinite Infinite −70.0000 151.7747 133.3985 Silica
Space −2.0000
640 Infinite Infinite −4.5000 132.5690 131.3876 Silica
Space −0.5000
642 −112.0665 −597.6805 −21.4866 123.4895 119.2442 Silica
Space −0.5000
644 −116.3137 282.3140 −24.0940 107.8451 101.2412 CaFl
646 282.3140 −66.5293 −13.7306 101.2412 72.6862 Silica
Space −2.6346
648 −77.2627 −374.4800 −17.9594 72.0749 62.7659 Silica
Space −0.5452
650 −130.1381 −57.1295 −20.8147 58.9696 37.4889 Silica
652 −57.1295 −7305.8777 −6.1425 37.4889 34.3156 CaFl
Space −4.0000
180 Infinite 26.4992.

wherein the constants for the aspheric mirror 634 used in the equation after Table 1 are as follows:

CURV=−0.00286744

K=0.000000

A=−1.92013×10−09

B=−3.50840×10−14

C=2.95934×10−19

D=−1.10495×10−22

E=9.03439×10−27

F=−1.39494×10−31

This second embodiment is optimized for radiation centered on 193.3 nanometers and has a spectral bandwidth of about 200 picometers or 0.2 nanometers. A slightly line narrowed argon fluoride excimer laser is an adequate light source. Additionally, the design can be optimized for any wavelength for which both refractive materials transmit adequately. The bandwidth will generally increase for longer wavelengths, as the material dispersions decrease. For example, around 248.4 nanometers such a two-material design will operate over at least a 400 picometers, 0.4 nanometers bandwidth.

At wavelengths longer than 360 nanometers, a wider range of optical glasses begin to have adequate transmission. A third embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7 takes advantage of this wider selection of glasses and further reduced dispersion. From its long conjugate end, it comprises a first quarter-wave plate 708, an object or reticle plane 110, a second quarter-wave plate 711, a lens group LG7, a folding mirror 722, a lens group LG8, a beamsplitter cube 732 having a surface 738, a third quarter-wave plate 734, a concave mirror 736, a fourth quarter-wave plate 740, and lens group LG9. The image is formed at image or wafer plane 180. The lens group LG7 comprises a spaced doublet comprising negative lens 712 and positive lens 714, spaced doublet including positive lens 716 and negative lens 718, and positive lens 720. The lens group LG8 comprises a positive lens 724, a negative lens 726, a positive lens 728, and a negative lens 730. The lens group LG9 comprises a positive lenses 742, cemented doublet including positive lens 744 and negative lens 746, positive lens 748, and cemented doublet including shell 750 and positive lens 752.

The construction data of the third embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7 is given in Table 3 below.

TABLE 3
Radius of Curvature Aperture
Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm)
Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass
708 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 125.0000 125.0000 Silica
Space 0.5000
110 Infinite 59.2960
Space 0.5000
711 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 125.0000 125.0000 Silica
712 −620.7809 361.8305 20.2974 125.9406 134.7227 PBM2Y
Space 2.6174
714 515.7935 −455.1015 39.8858 135.3384 145.6015 PBM2Y
Space 14.7197
716 431.3189 −239.4002 36.9329 155.6269 157.3014 BSL7Y
Space 0.5000
718 −259.6013 685.3286 26.3534 156.9363 162.2451 PBM2Y
Space 1.4303
720 361.5709 −1853.2955 23.3934 168.7516 165.1801 BAL15Y
Space 131.8538
722 Infinite −77.8469 169.9390 Reflection
724 −429.2950 455.4247 −32.3086 173.0235 171.1102 PBL6Y
Space −27.6206
726 401.0363 −180.0031 −12.0000 159.3555 154.7155 BSL7Y
Space −5.6227
728 −258.4722 1301.3764 −26.1321 154.7155 154.1517 PBM8Y
Space −2.0000
730 −1282.8931 −180.2226 −12.0000 153.1461 149.4794 BSL7Y
Space −19.7282
732 Infinite Infinite −91.7349 150.4585 252.6772 Silica
738 Infinite 252.6772 Reflection
732 Infinite Infinite 91.7349 252.6772 252.6772 Silica
Space 2.0000
734 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 185.6435 186.7758 Silica
Space 18.2715
Stop 188.1745
736 Aspheric −18.2715 188.1745 Reflection
734 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 183.6393 180.1377 Silica
Space −2.0000
732 Infinite Infinite −91.7349 178.3236 147.9888 Silica
732 Infinite Infinite −70.0000 147.9888 126.9282 Silica
Space −2.000
740 Infinite Infinite −4.5000 126.0289 124.6750 Silica
Space −0.5000
742 −119.8912 −610.6840 −18.6508 117.5305 113.4233 BSM51Y
Space −0.5000
744 −114.1327 384.9135 −21.1139 102.6172 96.4137 BSL7Y
746 384.9135 −70.2077 −13.0576 96.4137 71.1691 PBL26Y
Space −2.8552
748 −85.7858 −400.3240 −16.9147 70.5182 61.2633 BSM51Y
Space −0.8180
750 −151.5235 −54.0114 −19.5810 57.6234 37.3909 BSM51Y
752 −54.0114 −2011.1057 −6.3947 37.3909 34.2119 PBL6Y
Space −4.0000
180 Infinite 26.5002.

wherein the constants for the aspheric mirror 736 used in the equation after Table 1 as follows:

CURV=−0.00291648

K=0.000000

A=−1.27285×10−9

B=−1.92865×10−14

C=6.21813×10−19

D=−6.80975×1023

E=6.04233×10−27

F=3.64479×10−32

This third embodiment operates over a spectral bandwidth of 8 nanometers centered on 365.5 nanometers. A radiation of this spectral bandwidth can be provided by a filtered mercury arc lamp at the I-line waveband. The optical glasses other than fused silica used in this third embodiment are commonly known as I-line glasses. These optical glasses have the least absorption or solarization effects at the mercury I-line wavelength.

FIG. 8 illustrates a fourth embodiment of the optical reduction system of the present invention. This embodiment has a numerical aperture of 0.63 and can operate at a spectral bandwidth of 300 picometers, and preferably of 100 picometers, centered on 248.4 nanometers. From the long conjugate end, it includes a first quarter-wave plate 808, an object or reticle plane 110, a second quarter-wave plate 811, a first lens group LG1, a folding mirror 820, a second lens group LG2, a beamsplitter cube 830, a first quarter-wave plate 832, a concave mirror 834, a second quarter-wave plate 838, and a third lens group LG3. The image is formed at the image or wafer plane 180.

The first lens group LG1 comprises a shell 812, a spaced doublet including a positive lens 814 and a negative lens 816, and a positive lens 818. The second lens group LG2 comprises a positive lens 822, a spaced doublet including a negative lens 824 and a positive lens 826, and a negative lens 828. The third lens group LG3 comprises two positive lenses 840 and 842, a shell 844, and two positive lenses 846 and 848. Again, as in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the folding mirror 820 of FIG. 8 is not essential to the operation of the invention, but nevertheless permits the object 10 and image plane 180 to be parallel to each other which is convenient for the manufacture of semiconductor devices using photolithography.

The construction data of the fourth embodiment illustrated in FIG. 8 is in Table 4 below.

TABLE 4
Radius of Curvature Aperture
Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm)
Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass
808 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 122.0000 122.0000 Silica
Space 2.0000
110 Infinite 63.3853
Space 2.0000
811 Infinite Infinite 4.5000 122.0000 122.0000 Silica
812 −183.5661 −215.7867CX 17.0000 122.8436 130.6579 Silica
Space 46.6205
814 −601.1535CC −230.9702CX 21.4839 149.1476 153.3103 Silica
Space 68.8075
816 −195.1255 −345.4510CX 15.0000 161.6789 170.1025 Silica
Space 3.0000
818 435.8058CX −1045.1785CX    24.9351 177.4250 178.2672 Silica
Space 130.0000
Decenter(1)
820 Infinite −64.5000 180.3457 Reflection
822 210.7910CX 380.1625CX −43.1418 181.6672 178.0170 Silica
Space −15.8065
824 300.1724CC −123.4555CC   −12.0000 166.7278 152.3101 Silica
Space −3.8871
826 −126.8915CX   972.6391CX −41.3263 154.8530 151.8327 Silica
Space −1.5000
828 −626.4905CX   −116.6456CC   −12.0000 147.6711 136.1163 Silica
Space −31.8384
830 Infinite Infinite −74.0000 137.2448 200.1127 Silica
Decenter(2)|
836 Infinite 200.1128 Reflection
830 Infinite Infinite 74.0000 200.1127 200.1127 Silica
Space 2.0000
832 Infinite Infinite 6.0000 148.6188 149.0707 Silica
Space 14.4638
Stop 149.6392
834 Aspheric −14.4638 149.6392 Reflection
832 Infinite Infinite −6.0000 144.8563 141.2737 Silica
Space −2.0000
830 Infinite Infinite −74.000 139.3606 117.3979 Silica
Decenter(3)
830 Infinite Infinite −61.000 117.3979 100.5074 Silica
Space −2.0000
838 Infinite Infinite −4.5000 99.6617 98.4157 Silica
Space −1.2000
840 −157.8776CX 2282.2178CX −13.7501 94.8267 91.8775 Silica
Space −1.2000
842  −94.0059CX  −46.6659CC −13.4850 82.8663 78.1418 Silica
Space −1.2000
844 −147.2485CX   −77.8924CC −22.2075 72.7262 50.6555 Silica
Space −3.2091
846 −159.2880CX −519.4850CC   −13.8321 49.5648 39.0473 Silica
Space −0.2000
848 −129.3683CX   −426.7350CC   −6.1500 37.3816 32.4880 Silica.
Space Image Distance = −4.0000
850 Image Infinite

The constants for the aspheric mirror 834 used in the equation located after Table 1 are as follows:

CURV=−0.00332614

K=0.000000

A=−4.32261E−10

B=3.50228E−14

C=7.13264E−19

D=2.73587E−22

This fourth embodiment is optimized for radiation centered on 248.4 nm. The single refracting material of fused silica and the large portion of refracting power restricts the spectral bandwidth of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 8. However, because the fourth embodiment has a maximum numerical aperture of 0.63 rather than of 0.7 as in the first three embodiments, the fourth embodiment provides acceptable imaging over a spectral full-width-half-maximum bandwidth of 300 picometers, or preferably of 100 picometers. Thus, in the former, an unnarrowed, or, in the latter, a narrowed excimer laser can be employed for the illumination source.

The fourth embodiment differs from the first three embodiments in that the net power of LG1 and LG2 of the fourth embodiment is weakly positive rather than weakly negative as in the first three embodiments. In addition, this illustrates that the overall focal power of LG1 plus LG2 can be either positive or negative and still permit an infinitely distant entrance pupil to be imaged at or near the concave mirror 834.

FIG. 9 illustrates a fifth embodiment of the optical reduction system of the present invention. Preferably, this embodiment has a numerical aperture of 0.60 and operates at a spectral bandwidth of 300 picometers centered on 248.4 nanometers. From the long conjugate end, it includes a first quarter-wave plate 908, an object or reticle plane 110, a second quarter-wave plate 911, a first lens group LG1, a folding mirror 920, a second lens group LG2, a beamsplitter cube 930, a third quarter-wave plate 932, a concave mirror 934, a fourth quarter-wave plate 938, and a third lens group LG3. The image is formed at an image or wafer plane 180.

The first lens group LG1 comprises a shell 912, a spaced doublet including a positive lens 914 and a negative lens 916, and a positive lens 918. The second lens group LG2 comprises a positive lens 922, a spaced doublet including a negative lens 924 and a positive lens 926, and a negative lens 928. The third lens group LG3 comprises two positive lenses 940 and 942, a shell 944, and two positive lenses 946 and 948. Again, as in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, the folding mirror 920 of FIG. 9 is not essential to the operation of the invention, but nevertheless permits the object and image planes to be parallel to each other which is convenient for the manufacture of semiconductor devices using photolithography.

The construction data of the fifth embodiment illustrated in FIG. 9 is given in Table 5 below.

TABLE 5
Radius of Curvature Aperture
Element (mm) Thickness Diameter (mm)
Number Front Back (mm) Front Back Glass
908 Infinite Infinite −4.4550 120.0000 120.0000 Silica
Space 1.1880
910 Infinite 62.7514
Space 1.1880
911 Infinite Infinite −4.4550 120.0000 120.0000 Silica
912 −136.1154CC   −152.5295CX   16.8300 120.7552 129.4354 Silica
Space 4.5206
914 −270.1396CC   −191.8742CX   20.5341 132.9152 139.0377 Silica
Space 90.8476
916 −188.9000CC −284.7476CX 17.5000 156.1938 165.6567 Silica
Space 2.9700
918 433.8174 CX   −841.5599CX   25.8293 173.8279 174.8334 Silica
Space 149.4549
Decenter(1)
920 Infinite −61.0000 177.2183 Reflection
922 −190.3251CX −8413.4836CC   −34.4584 178.5071 174.2260 Silica
Space −51.5487
924 690.5706CC −146.4997CC   −11.8800 150.4109 141.8021 Silica
Space −10.6267
526 −265.9886CX 1773.5314CX −24.1851 142.1851 141.2400 Silica
Space −1.5000
928 −244.9899CX   −142.8558CC   −11.8800 139.3290 133.8967 Silica
Space −21.6411
930 Infinite Infinite −71.2800 134.3115 189.7826 Silica
Decenter(2)
936 Infinite 189.7826 Reflection
930 Infinite Infinite 71.2800 189.7826 189.7826 Silica
Space 1.9800
932 Infinite Infinite 5.9400 142.3429 142.6707 Silica
Space 18.5263
Stop 143.5034
934 Aspheric −18.5263 143.5034 Reflection
932 Infinite Infinite −5.9400 134.2788 130.9398 Silica
Space −1.9800
930 Infinite Infinite −71.2800 130.1221 111.7247 Silica
Decenter (3)
930 Infinite Infinite −60.4000 111.7247 96.1353 Silica
Space −1.9800
938 Infinite Infinite −4.4550 95.3562 94.2064 Silica
Space −1.1880
940 −127.4561CX   −1398.8019CC    −13.0104 90.4737 87.7002 Silica
Space −1.1880
942  −98.8795 CX −424.1302CC −12.2874 80.7016 76.3270 Silica
Space −1.1880
944 −132.0104CX  −70.9574CC −17.8706 71.0789 53.4306 Silica
Space −3.1246
946 −123.1071CX −585.4471CC −19.9496 52.6417 38.2256 Silica
Space −0.1980
948 −137.8349CX −292.6179CX   −6.0885 36.7251 31.8484 Silica
Space Image Distance = −4.0000
950 Image Infinite 26.5000

The constants for the aspheric mirror 934 used in the equation located after Table 1 are as follows:

CURV=−0.00325995

K=0.000000

A=−6.91799E−10

B=5.26952E−15

C=6.10046E−19

D=1.59429E−22

This fifth embodiment is optimized for radiation centered on 248.4 nm. The single refracting material of fused silica and the large portion of refracting power restricts the spectral bandwidth of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 9. However, because the fifth embodiment has a maximum numerical aperture of 0.6 rather than of 0.7 as in the first three embodiments, the fifth embodiment provides acceptable imaging over a spectral full-width-half-maximum bandwidth of 300 picometers. Thus, an unnarrowed excimer laser can be employed for an illumination source. The fifth embodiment differs from the first three embodiments in that the net power of LG1 and LG2 of the fifth embodiment is weakly positive rather than weakly negative as in the first three embodiments. In addition, this illustrates that the overall focal power of LG1 plus LG2 can be either positive or negative and still permit an infinitely distant entrance pupil to be imaged at or near the concave mirror 934.

IV. Alternate Implementation

It is apparent to one skilled in the relevant art that the use of the first quarter-wave plate in any of the above embodiments depends on the initial polarization of the radiation incident on the long conjugate end. Therefore, if the polarization of the light is circular or unpolarized prior to the long conjugate end, then the first quarter-wave plate, used to transform linearly polarized light into circularly polarized light, could be omitted.

Such an implementation can be shown by omitting first quarter-wave plate 305 from FIG. 3 and/or first quarter-wave plate 405 from FIG. 4. Further implementations of this configuration in the other embodiments described above are obvious to one skilled in the relevant art.

Conclusion

While specific embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.

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Reference
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US7463422 *Jan 25, 2007Dec 9, 2008Carl Zeiss Smt AgProjection exposure apparatus
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US7799486Nov 21, 2006Sep 21, 2010Infineon Technologies Agforming a first pattern in a first region of the substrate, and forming a second pattern in a second region of the substrate, the second pattern comprising patterns for features oriented differently than patterns for features of the first pattern; electronic applications, e.g. computers, cellular phone
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US8675177Sep 20, 2007Mar 18, 2014Nikon CorporationExposure method and apparatus, and method for fabricating device with light amount distribution having light larger in first and second pairs of areas
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Classifications
U.S. Classification359/727, 355/71, 359/728, 355/53
International ClassificationG02B17/08, H01L21/027, G03F7/22, G03F7/20
Cooperative ClassificationG03F7/70225, G03F7/70566, G03F7/70358, G03F7/70308
European ClassificationG03F7/70F18, G03F7/70L4D, G03F7/70F2, G03F7/70F28
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